Must it be new?

To me, yes. Most of the music I hear on this site (I listen to everything posted) is in a neo-classical/neo-romantic/19th century-imitating/or new age vein. I've no interest in this music, so don't comment on such posts. I am only interested in music which does something new, which to me is the heart of what classical composition is about. I don't think this applies to band music composers, jazz, and rock, they have a tradition they are working from. But classical is different - it, I think is supposed to be about expanding the tradition/changing the tradition/doing something new. Also, I notice that many of the pieces on this site start out slowly. I guess the composers feel like a slow-build to something exciting is a good approach, but most of these pieces come across to me as just being turgid. I like to grab the listener from the first bar. For those who feel like their approach to music is a rejection of strange 20th century movements such as 12-tone music and aleatory stuff - I agree, tonality rocks, just not the tonality of the past - come up with something new in the tonality arena, it can be done in many ways I think. I'll suggest a composer on this site who I think is underappreciated, Ondib Olmnilnlolm, who experiments with sounds in a playful and experimental way. Best to you all -

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  • So again it would come down to doing it for income.

  • Why would writing a "Mozartian" symhony these days mean you write "popular" music?? Because we stampted that kind of classical as being popular, right? I like this music so much, if I would have the skills to compose works like that, I'd do it. If I would write it for the people, indeed, like James said, i'm producing music for income. (like the movie composer writes his music for the director/movie). Nothing wrong with that if you want to make a living out of composing. The trick is: write the music you love and make people love it (and buy it). That's much harder I think.

  • I'm not (yet?) a composer so I really might be talking nonsense here.

    I believe that listening and composing are entirely different perspectives
    on music.  Writing a decent symphony in, for example, classical style (as
    in "Mozartian") requires years of studying and writing thousands of
    compositions (Mozart had to do it).  This process changes you.  You would
    still like listening to great stuff you'd listened before, but I don't
    think the desire to write such stuff would remain unchanged.  You'd
    probably be creating something quite different than what Mozart did.  (I
    hope you'll try it!)

    And if at that time a rich Mozart fan commisioned you to write a
    composition for his daughter's wedding celebration, you'd do it because of
    the money, your primary goal would be that the music pleases your customer
    (your beautiful 7 variations on 4'33'' are out of the question :-)), and you'd use the
    remaining space to add things that please you professionally, knowing that
    it'll probably raise an eyebrow or two.  By "popular" music I actually
    meant this kind of entertainment music.  As opposed to art music, which
    has these priorities in reverse order, or completely chooses to ignore
    everything but composer's professional satisfaction.

  • Absolutly no!

    Bob Porter said:

    Josip

    I'm confused by many of your statements. Have you written any music, regardless of how good you may think it is? I play guitar, therefore I am a guitar player. I happen to have been paid on rare occasion, but that doesn't make me more of a guitar player than someone how has not been paid. I play because I want to. I write music because I want to.

    Mozart wrote wonderful music from a very early age. Yes, he got better but he certainly didn't live long enough to write thousands of pieces.

    Yes, study, but more importantly, write. Write for different groups of instruments. Write songs. Write a symphony. Why not?

    I understand your line between entertainment music and art music (can art not be entertaining?) but does the line really have to be there

  • Hi, Bob!

    Bob Porter said:

    I'm confused by many of your statements.
    Really?  Which ones?
    Have you written any music, regardless of how good you may think it is?
    Well, yes.  Very few, though.  Currently, I'm mostly entertaining myself by working out exercises in harmony and composition, from several textbooks.
    Mozart wrote wonderful music from a very early age. Yes, he got better but he certainly didn't live long enough to write thousands of pieces.

    Yes, study, but more importantly, write.

    Yes, write a lot, that was my point.  Write thousands of compositions.  I meant the number more figuratively.  If you're writing 3 minute pieces, you'll manage to write more of them then if you write 30 minute symphonies.

    I understand your line between entertainment music and art music (can art not be entertaining?) but does the line really have to be there
    Maybe it just boils down to whom are you trying to entertain: yourself (and an imagined group of people like you) or some other (imagined) group of people for whom you presume would not be entertained by the same stuff you are.
    Must it be new?
    To me, yes. Most of the music I hear on this site (I listen to everything posted) is in a neo-classical/neo-romantic/19th century-imitating/or new ag…
  • @Bob 

    Trying to write in a style that is not me ends up having no soul, no heart.

    I'd quote Schoenberg on this but I'd need to rifle through a stack of textbooks, nevertheless he does go to a great extent on explaining the difference between a student learning to compose through exercises and actually composing a piece of music (indulging one's whims) on many occasions. Breaking into an area you are unfamiliar with will of course yield a lifeless imitation, but at that stage your intent should be to dissect and build your familiarity with the structure of the style, not to try and get a composition out of it.

  • Bob

    I can sort of relate to what you are saying.  a Friend of mine has a brother who in fact is a well known film composer in US.  He lives in belair and has made his millions.  he has said that his worst years as a composer were when he was studying composition.  Cramped his style and took him years to get it OUT of his system

  • I went to school for composition also, and hated every second of it. It stripped all the joy out of composing for me. Fortunately I have a strong constitution and was able to block it all out of my mind.

  • Well I write music (you have listened to my piano concerto Gav and you may disagree?). I play piano and have no compositional training at all and I dont intend talking any. You guys have just sealed that decision.
  • James, I don't disagree with any human being who wants to express themselves through any art form. I just think formal education is not the way to go. Formal education teaches you to imitate, not create. In my studies, we looked at sonata form, for example. Nothing could have been more boring to me than sonata form, it spoke nothing to me about our time, it was unconnected to the world we live in. Formal education reinforces the idea that continuing on with and expanding on the traditions of the past (such as the sonata) is still the way to go for serious composers. This is my opinion only, I realize some folks out there still work with the sonata form, best to them -

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